i‑Learner Education Centre

Steps to Success » Phonics

Teaching Reading with Systematic Phonics

Reading is an essential life skill as it helps us learn everything else. Phonics instruction is now a key part of learning to read, but that wasn’t always the case. As an Indian born and raised in Hong Kong, I studied English as a second language in school. I didn’t enjoy it much since we learned from long, complex textbook passages and nightmarish weekly dictations. I never willingly picked up a book until I was in secondary school. I’m sure if I’d had a stronger foundation in phonics, things would have been very different.

Looking back at that time, I wish systematic phonics, which refers to the teaching of all the letter-sound correlations in a clear and logical order, had been more widespread. Learning letter sounds would have enabled me to read independently from a young age and made learning English a more enjoyable experience.

There are four systematic ways of teaching phonics – Synthetic, Analytic, Analogy-Based, and Embedded Phonics Instruction. These methods all come with benefits and drawbacks, and teachers choose the system that works best for their students. Yet, the effectiveness of systematic phonics instruction cannot be understated. It’s been proven particularly effective for students who learn English as a Second Language for the following reasons:

  • Struggling readers with little or no exposure pick up reading more quickly when taught systematically.
  • Their writing ability also sees a significant boost as they learn blending and segmenting.

Here at i-Learner, we ensure our students make the best improvement possible from an early age by teaching phonics systematically. We are always happy to see our students develop proficiency and confidence in reading English.